Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Our home decor: Modernising the dining area in our kitchen

Today I am going to talk about one of my favourite subjects - home d├ęcor. And this time I'm showing you how we've added just some small, very simple, inexpensive touches to our kitchen to give it more of the modern feel that Adam and I love so much.

The space I'm showing you around is the dining area part of our kitchen. It isn't yet complete to standard that we are totally happy with, as you can see from the empty frames, but we are certainly feeling a lot happier with it than we were.

The previous owners had painted the kitchen a very light green, which to be honest, isn't really to our personal taste. But as the stairs are in the kitchen, the same paint goes all the way from the kitchen up the stairs and on to the landing, so painting it all would just be a very big job, that right now we just don't have the time for. We may well decide to paint at some stage in the future but it's just a case of prioritising everyday life with jobs in the house at the moment.

To begin with, I'll address the reason for the empty frames. We aren't planning on leaving them empty (although sometimes it feels like that - haha). I think we've finally agreed on having three big photographs from our wedding in them. It's just a case of finding a moment to sit down, choose and then order them!

The frames are from IKEA and are perfect for filling up huge walls like this one. We chose to opt for three big frames, but if you have a wall similar that you need to fill - you could do a collection of lots of smaller frames together, with individual photos/memories in. I think that for the size of wall space that we needed to fill, the three big frames was our best option. If you have darker walls, try and contrast it by using white frames. Because our walls are light, we chose black frames. This works best when trying to create a 'modern' look.

Our table is one we've had for a few years now, and it's something we want to replace. But again - it's prioritising where we spend money. The table runner, cushions and the artificial flowers inside the glass vase are all from Next. The salt and pepper duo are from BHS and the two small candles were a gift. The Peppa Pig bag is Ethans from Peppa Pig World and isn't suppose to be a part of the decor - haha! 

The three hanging hearts are from B&M (I think). The "Live, Love, Laugh' hanging sign is from our Lake District holiday a long time ago. And the brown faux leather chest of drawers (found here) is from Wilko, as is the basket on top which Charlie has decided belongs to him (it doesn't, and it's safe to say  he has now found himself a new bed!). Basket can be found here. These two were my most recent additions, I have to say it was a complete random chance that I stumbled on to Wilko's website, and I am ever so pleased that I did as they actually have some amazing home decor items. I can't believe how nice the basket is - yep, I'm one of those that collects nice baskets! 

I'm happy with how I've managed to achieve a sort of modern, country feel but without splashing out lots of money or taking on a big job. It's taken a while but I think I'm finally starting to feel a lot happier with the decor in this side of our kitchen. 

I will keep you updated about the frames and what we choose to go inside of them. If you have any ideas for what I could put inside, I'd love some suggestions. :)

What do you think so far? Are you updating any rooms in your house currently?

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Backing Brands I Love!

Yesterday I introduced you to Gemma from Keepsakes from My Sewing Room (you can read the full post here) and I told you how in love with her creations I am and how selective I am now of the brands that I choose to work with. 

Well today I have some more amazing news, and it's about a company that I personally really rate. In fact, I think the brand that I am talking about is highly rated by many many Mums, Dads, children and babies across the world - it's the one and only Fisher-Price. 

I don't know quite what it is, perhaps it's the gorgeous bright colours, or the pure interaction element, or even the fantastic reputation that Fisher Price toys have, but there's just something about them that I trust and that I love.

I've said many times before that Fisher-Price are one of my favourite 'big' brands for babies and children and now I am lucky enough to be working with them and to be an official Fisher-Price Mum, which I am hugely grateful for. 

In my role I, or rather - Ethan, will be testing a selection of Fisher-Price toys suitable for his age and stage to ensure they suit him as he grows and develops. We will be taking lots of photographs, a short video and providing in depth detail about the product and our experience with it. It goes without saying that my thoughts will be entirely my own. Fisher-Price have asked for a totally honest review, and that is what I always provide with any product that makes it's way on to my blog, for the benefit of my readers and my own integrity. 

My reviews will be featured on the Fisher-Price Mums website, which is here. It's a lovely little corner of Fisher-Price's website, with honest product reviews from real-life Mums split into categories relating to their babies/childs age. It's really worth a look, if you're like me and love the Fisher-Price brand. 

The first review will be of the Little People City Skyway Playset and will be live sometime around October. :)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Our Weekend Away.

I love nothing more than my family. Spending time with Ethan and Adam is everything to me. Being a Mum is challenging but it is absolutely the best thing in the world. And when we are all together as a three, words can't describe how that feels.

But I also believe it is so important to have breaks from each other now and again, I think it's healthy and it teaches us all that it's okay to be apart. And this sets us up for life and the many times that we do have to be apart.

This weekend Adam and I took a trip to London. Ethan stayed with his Grandparents on Adams side for three nights whilst we were away. And we all had such a wonderful time. Adam and I got to reconnect and spend quality time as just us two and Ethan got to explore his Grandparent's house and garden and spend quality time with them and his Auntie Ellie. It was a wonderful break for us all.

In London, Adam and I first stopped off in the rather posh area of Knightsbridge so that I could have my first ever facial. Adam went off to the Victoria and Albert museum, which he says was brilliant and free to get in. And I went to meet the lovely Sherelle at Linda Meredith who talked me through what my facial would entail and also discussed with me a bit of a back story as to Linda's approach to clearer, healthier, skin.

After my facial, I felt amazing! I had gone in there wondering if it would be my type of thing, thinking that perhaps it was just a sort of 'lotions and potions' type of approach to beauty. But I was wrong, my skin has never felt so clean and clear! Sherelle seriously made me feel like I was glowing and I left with a huge smile on my face, two complimentary products to keep my face clear and a much better insight in to what causes lumps, bumps and lines on my face and how to prevent them. I spent the next few hours walking around London feeling like my face was glowing - it was brilliant!

After that, Adam and I strolled over to a few London landmarks and ended up taking a couple of selfies (as you do). It was a lovely way to spend an hour actually - it was nice to walk around hand in hand and enjoy the fresh air and amazing vibe of London. I couldn't live in London myself, as I'm much more of a country person but I do hold a special place in my heart for the vibe that exists in our capital! London certainly has atmosphere!

After that it was on to Tibits - an all vegetarian restaurant that even the meat-eaters can't say no to. Inside, the atmosphere was great - it was lovely to see so many people inside enjoying their meals! The decor was modern and clean and the seating and layout was just perfect, with ample outdoor seating too. The duty manager was probably the most friendliest manager I've ever come across in a restaurant and it was so nice of him to take so much time out to explain how the buffet style system worked. At Tibits you can choose from over 40 homemade vegetarian and vegan foods. You then pay by weight, so you can take as much or as little as you want and only pay for what you eat. It's a brilliant idea and such an amazing way to be able to try more gorgeous tasting veggie food. It just means that you're not limited to one choice, and so naturally I had a but of everything. I absolutely loved Tibits and so did Adam. We absolutely cannot fault it in any way. Tibits is truly the perfect spot for breakfast, after work drinks, an evening meal or a a quick take-away! We will definitely be going back!

After Tibits we made a quick stop at our hotel just to dump our overnight bag. We stayed at the Travelodge in Southwark which was very close to our next stop - the O2 arena to see Ant and Dec's Takeaway on Tour from the comfort of a cosy VIP suite! It was all rather exciting! It was our fist time at the O2 and it really is such a brilliant venue, I would absolutely love to go back and watch someone else, perhaps a musical performer, in the future. I finally got to meet my lovely friend and fellow blogger Kerry from Lived with Love and I also met into the lovely Laura from The Life and Times of the Working Mum which was really nice, as they shared the suite with us. Ant and Dec were as funny as they are on the TV and Jonathan Ross and Ashley Roberts were special guests alongside a performance of river dancers - which made my night as I've always wanted to see river dancers perform live. The VIP suite was awesome, and it was an amazing end to an an amazing day!

We then went back to our room at the Travelodge and had a lovely nights sleep in a very comfy bed. We had stunning views of London by night from our window which was a great little bonus! And though there were train lines just outside, I didn't wake up once all night. I would totally recommend the Travelodge at Southwark if you are staying in London, especially if you are going to the O2. I really don't think it's worth splashing out on a megabucks luxury hotel if you're just using it as a base like we were. If you've seen the adverts from Travelodge on the TV about their 'Get up and Go' campaign, you'll know that they market themselves as a great place for individuals/couples/families to to base themselves from, to then get up and go to explore what Britain has to offer. It's all you really need when exploring London!

The next day Adam and I checked-out and went off to do a little shopping on Regent Street - stopping, of course, in the wonderful Hamleys to pick Ethan a little something up before heading back home to give him lots and lots of cuddles. 

Our weekend was perfect and we feel like we had so much time to reconnect with each other. We'd like to say a big thank you to Linda Meredith, Tibits and the Travelodge who provided us with complimentary services. And of course an even bigger thank you to Adams parents and his Sister Ellie (Ethans Grandpop, Grandma and Auntie) who took such amazing care of Ethan whilst we were away. <3 

Sneak Peak into a Competition you WONT want to miss!

I am very selective on what I choose to review here on Bump to Baby, I see no point in accepting reviews for products or services that I really don't feel would bring anything to my site. And I don't like to promise brands or individuals exposure unless I am truly behind their product. 

I have written about so many wonderful products in the time I have been writing here on Bump to Baby, but I think I may have just found my personal favourite. And I think it might just end up becoming yours too!

And because I think this particular product and brand is something to get very excited about, I even asked the (seriously lovely) owner and creator if she wouldn't mind creating something for one of my (eventual VERY lucky) readers, to which she replied that she'd love to! And well, that makes me seriously excited for whoever will go on to win this amazing prize!

See, it's not a brand new car that you'll win or a big wad of cash, no, it's something a LOT more priceless and sentimental than that - take a look below..

This isn't just a very cute lion teddy bear, it is a very cute lion teddy bear that is made completely from my Sons newborn (and slightly older) clothes!

Everything you see here - Ethan wore! (..well all except the cute red ribbon around Mr Lions neck and the fabric around head as the mane - that was one of Ethans blankets..) And then there's the extra personalisation.. on the lions back paws Ethan's name and weight at birth are written. And then on the other paw is the date he was born.

(Images of part of the creation stage that Gemma sent to me)

The amount of detail that Gemma from Keepsakes From My Sewing Room has gone into to create this for me is quite literally insane. The time that she has put in to this is obvious. There are no faults or flaws to it. It is hands down the best keepsake for your child that money can buy.

She also made me a stunning cushion for Ethan (again personalised and made with Ethans own clothes) which I am going to show you in the next post, which will feature the competition and details how to enter.

The amazing prize is going to be one lucky winners choice of animal (you can see the animals that Gemma creates over on her website: here.) It will be completely personalised with your own childs clothing and choice of words! And trust me; This is a giveaway you will NOT want to miss!

Further details will be coming soon! You can find out more about Gemma and Keepsakes From My Sewing Room and stay in the loop about this giveaway here and here

Thursday, 28 August 2014

#WeirdestPlaceToSleep Competition

I'm sure he won't appreciate it, or maybe he will. But this is my lovely Husband Adam, on a friends stag do a couple of years back. This photo was uploaded by one of the guys on the trip with him, who captioned it, "Adam's already KO'ed under a bunk bed, and it's only 2pm in the afternoon.." Welllll - I guess if you can't do it on a stag do, when can you?!

- .. and this kids is what too much alcohol does to you!

Anyway.. asides from posting a photograph of my rather drunken Husband and having a right old giggle about it.. I am currently working with Carpetright who have a competition running at the moment called #WeirdestPlaceToSleep, which is literally all about weirdest places people have been found falling asleep! Just like my lovely Hubby and his 'comfy spot' above. ^

They have some AMAZING prizes up for grabs for the winners of the competition - a £700 voucher to spend on a bed at Carpetright or a luxury family glamping holiday courtesy of Mill Farm luxury holidays! Pretty amazing, right?!

So - what have you got to do to win?

Well, it's actually incredibly simple..

All you need to do is get in touch with Carpetright via social media using the hashtag: #WeirdestPlaceToSleep and share a picture of someone you know or even yourself falling asleep in a bit of a weird place. You can do this by...
  • Tweeting @Carpetright 
  • Tagging Carpetright in a Facebook status
  • OR Including @carpetright in your Instagram captions 
Remember that you MUST include the hashtag: #WeirdestPlaceToSleep for your entry to count! :)
The CLOSING DATE is: 3rd September 2014 11:59AM (So hurry!)
You can click on the link bellow for more details of the competition and to check out the wall of sleeping madness to find out who has the weirdest of them all: http://www.carpetright.co.uk/we-want-to-see-your-weirdest-sleeping-place

Good luck! Oh and I'd love it if you could include me in your tweets or mentions too as I love seeing all of the fantastic (and rather funny!) entries. :)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Attitudes towards both Bottle-Feeding and Breastfeeding

Sometimes I think that the whole breastfeeding topic is a bit of a sensitive one and  that's probably because everyone has such different opinions on it.

Some people are very pro breastfeeding and some people aren't really into it. And both are fine.

Personally, I didn't breastfeed. To be totally honest, I'm one of those women who just really isn't in to it. I tried very hard to be, but it just wasn't for me. I also tried to breastfeed Ethan when he was born, but I really struggled to get him to latch on and I felt so poorly in myself that accepting help from other people to bottle feed Ethan seemed like the best choice for me.

I also had to go back in to hospital three days after Ethan was born because I blacked out and fell in the shower, I couldn't do anything for myself and I couldn't stand without falling. So Adam changed all of Ethans first nappies and he did all of his feeding. He took Ethan home with him when I went back to hospital, because I wouldn't have been able to get out of bed to tend to him if he woke up in the night. And so bottle feeding worked out really well for us.

I've never been made to feel guilty about bottle-feeding Ethan. But I do know other Mums who have been made to feel guilty for their choice to choose bottle over breast -  which is something that really just baffles my mind.

And it's the same for women who choose to breastfeed - I've heard stories of photographs being removed from Facebook that are of Mothers breastfeeding their babies and I don't quite understand why this happens? I have seen such disgusting things go un-removed by Facebook, yet they remove something that is natural and in no way offensive? I simply can't get my head around it. I've also heard stories of breastfeeding Mums being asked to leave shops because they're feeding their babies and other people don't feel comfortable about it.. how is that even allowed to happen? What do people expect breastfeeding mothers to do? Leave their babies to cry out in hunger and simply ignore them?

It seems to me that there can sometimes be quite a lot of negativity towards how us Mums decide to feed our babies, no matter if we choose to breast or bottle feed. Take a look at these survey results for further reading.

At the end of the day, all that matters is a healthy happy baby. People need to stop judging Mums who bottle feed and they need to stop judging Mums who breastfeed. Us Mums will feed our babies using the best method that works for both us and our children. And we certainly don't need any negative input from people who should know better than to judge.

Have you ever received negative feedback about the way you choose/chose to feed your baby? How did you deal with it?

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ethan's Room Inspiration & Finds

I am always browsing the web looking out for inspirational and fun, decor and toys for Ethans bedroom. His room is one of my favourite places in the house and I just love filling it with personalised items and things that help him to develop. The only problem with my constant desire to browse is the amount of money everything costs to purchase and how much I spend in one go. So rather than get everything all at once, I've made a little inspiration board here on my blog so that I can refer back to it when I next have a little money to spend on his room. 

Adventure Awaits Hoop Art | - I love this because of how much Ethan loves to be outside. He's an explorer. It's his favourite thing to do, so this would make a great reference and look perfect in his netural themed nursery. 

Custom Ombre Name Banner | I would love something like this to hang in Ethans room, again I love how neutral it is and the personalisation. I am also massively in to using banners as decor. 

Pop Up Castle Play Tent | I have a feeling Ethan would love a little hide out place, and I love this castle pop up tent I found on eBay. It's just finding the room for it, which I am actively working on!

Aeroplane Storage Box | We always need more storage and the aeroplane storage box from yorkshirelinen.com would be perfect for either in our living room or Ethans bedroom to store in Ethans room. 

Racing Car Nursery Art Print | Ethan LOVES cars at the moment, he's always carrying his toy cars around, and I (as you know) love art prints so this would be perfect in a white ikea frame in his bedroom. 

Chef's Play Kitchen - I REALLY want to get Ethan a toy kitchen for christmas. We haven't fully decided if that's what we're going to do, but I am totally learning towards it. I really feel that he would have so much fun with it. He is always opening our kitchen cupboards and walking around with his bowls and spoons using them as toys. So I'd love to get him his own little kitchenette!

What have you currently got your eye on for your little one? Have you thought about Christmas gifts yet?

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